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Boundaries are crucial for our peace and well-being. Without boundaries, we can experience mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual depletion. Setting boundaries isn’t always comfortable, but we can see the benefits as we practice setting them.
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ONE POWERFUL BOUNDARY TECHNIQUE
BOUNDARIES ARE NECESSARY
Boundaries are a necessary component in taking care of ourselves. Boundaries allow us to say no to things we want to say no to and yes to what we want to do. Too often, we say yes when we need to say no. This becomes a cascade of emotions like anger, resentment, and feeling unsettled. Boundaries need to be utilized every day and in every situation.
You do not deserve:
- To be walked over
- To be taken advantage of
- To burn out
- To feel depleted
- To be talked down to
Whatever happens in your relationships, we want to ensure we're setting up healthy boundaries so that you're taking care of yourself emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
RESPECT IS KEY
We all have different comfort zones regarding what is okay and not okay. Sometimes in relationships, we allow things to get out of control. It's important that everyone stands in power but also respects one another in a relationship.
If someone keeps taking from you and you don’t set the boundary, you will end up depleted. It will continue until you set the boundary and say no to this energy drain. It’s the first step in creating healthy boundaries that lead to a healthy relationship.
Ultimately you are responsible for setting boundaries and holding them.
MISSING THE POINT
Those closest to us should be hearing, seeing, and respecting our boundaries. But for some, no matter how effectively we communicate our boundaries, they won’t honor them. We can have compassion for that person, but we are responsible for setting and holding our boundaries.
When you set boundaries, you allow the other person to change their behavior. How will they know to change if you don’t set the boundary or bring their awareness to the behavior causing discomfort? This conversation can be challenging to have, but even something as simple as, “Hey, I don't like what you're doing," or "Hey, the way you're speaking to me right now makes me feel uncomfortable," brings awareness to the person and the opportunity to change how they are interacting with you or not. Their decision to value your feelings or disregard them gives you a clear picture of what role they can continue to play in your life.
CLEAR THE AIR
I’ve talked about this in the past, but this technique is effective when setting boundaries. This technique allows you to gain clarity around the situation and what is going on internally. Write a letter to the person you are creating a boundary around. Do you give the person the letter? No. And you might find yourself writing more than one letter while you navigate the thoughts, feelings, and reactions you are experiencing with this person.
Sometimes you'll uncover other things you are upset, disappointed, angry, or disenchanted about. Don't censor your thoughts. Don't censor what you say. Let it all out in as many letters as it takes to express all you feel. This energetic dump unleashes all the pent-up thoughts, frustrations, sadness, anger, rage, or anything else that has been festering inside you. And you might have to write more than one letter. Letting it all out clears some of the energy so that it’s not taking up space, and you can start the healing process.
THE GREAT PAUSE
One of my most powerful boundary-setting techniques, and I have seen amazing results from using it: The Great Pause. This is where you put the person you are setting boundaries with on pause. You slow your communication, withdraw a little at a time, and reduce the amount of interaction you have with that person, creating space between yourself and them.
Do you have to tell them you're putting them on pause? You could. It’s up to you and depends on the relationship. Sometimes the pause happens very naturally. Sometimes you have to start pulling back in the relationship where you aren’t having as many conversations with them. Over time, the times between communication become longer and longer, and the intention you set to create space happens organically. This is already going to create a boundary; the time has come to shift the dynamic in that relationship.
I have seen one of two things happen when I used this technique. Either the person I chose to create this boundary with shows up for the opportunity to change, or they don't and no longer get to be in my life. Both scenarios are okay with me because taking care of myself and my mental and emotional health is non-negotiable.
A TIME AND A SEASON FOR EVERYTHING
When you are taking a pause from a particular person, this creates the opportunity to clear some of the energy between you and that individual. It lets that person see how they’ve been showing up for you. It can be a time of reflection for both of you to examine how the relationship is either serving your highest good or not.
Does it mean they're going to start thinking about it? Not always. We are all humans and have free will to do what we want. Some people choose to stay in trauma stories and interact with others based on trauma responses. You can have compassion and love for a person without allowing those issues to complicate your life and leave you frustrated every time you communicate. Suppose they want you in their life. In that case, they might start thinking about how they can communicate and be in a relationship with you differently so that the dynamics are healthy and beneficial.
Sometimes when we pause, those people will leave our lives entirely, and that’s okay. They came into our lives for a specific purpose and are not meant to be in our lives forever. We both got what we needed out of the relationship. People get to be in your life and leave your life at different stages because that's where the relationship is meant to dissolve.
I CAN LOVE YOU FROM A DISTANCE
Setting a boundary, or even having a relationship dissolve when boundaries are crossed, does not mean we don’t still love and hold compassion for that person. We don’t have to be in a relationship with that person to want the best for them. Sometimes we have to let go of relationships because they aren’t good for us anymore.
Ultimately, we’d love for all relationships to go the distance and grow with us. It’s lovely when we can rekindle those relationships and meet each other in a new way. There have been people in my life that have shown back up ready to have a new relationship, with clear boundaries, better communication, and more robust respect between the both of us.
You can love someone, have a lot of compassion for someone, and still hold healthy boundaries to take care of yourself. You can take a pause to allow growth, reflection, and a reset, understanding that the pause may not heal the relationship. Not everyone's going to receive the pause in a good way. But I also understand that it is not healthy for us to continue to be in the same relationship, in the same way, behaving in the same behaviors without someone getting hurt, most likely me. If I continue to accept the behaviors affecting me, I am enabling them to continue, which isn’t healthy for the other person either.
So if you are guided to take the pause, do it. Take the pause.
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Full transcription of the episode:
Hello everyone and welcome to today's episode. I am so excited to talk to you about boundaries today. Boundaries are a necessary component in taking care of ourselves. By having boundaries, we are able to say no to things we want to say no to, things to say yes to, things that we want to say yes to, and really it's about setting ourselves up for success so we don't get burnt out, we don't get taken advantage of, we don't feel depleted, we don't feel resentful or angry or upset. And boundaries are part of life no matter which way we do it.
Now, we all have different comfort zones of what we are okay with and what we're not okay with. Sometimes in relationships, we can allow things or the relationship dynamics can allow things to get out of control. And this is where things can get very complicated and hurtful. And I don't think it's necessary. I think that it's important that everyone stands in their power and also respects one another in a relationship.
You do not deserve to be walked over. You do not deserve to be taken advantage of. You do not deserve to burn out, to feel depleted. You do not deserve to be talked down to. Whatever is happening in your relationships, we want to make sure we're setting up healthy boundaries so that you're taking care of yourself on an emotional, spiritual and physical level. And the relationship needs to be healthy and balanced. If you have someone in your life that's constantly taking, taking, taking from you, it's really hard to be around that person because they're only going to continue to take from you and deplete your energy. And it's important to say no to the things that you do not want to do. And I know that sometimes this is really, really hard for people.
I just had lunch with a friend and she was sharing with me about some interesting dynamics that she has going on in one of her relationships. And I just felt for her because I can see the dynamic playing out. And sometimes we have dynamics playing out with people that we love so dearly. And those people can be family members, they can be close friends, they can be business partners, and the other person in the relationship just isn't getting the point. And we can have compassion for that person. But ultimately you are responsible for setting boundaries and holding them.
You have to set boundaries because it allows the other person the opportunity to change behavior. If you don't set the boundary, how are they going to know to change the behavior? How are they going to know that it's not acceptable to you to change the behavior? Now sometimes it's hard to even have the conversation about like, "Hey, this isn't working for me anymore. Hey, I don't like what you're doing," or "Hey, the way you're speaking to me right now makes me feel uncomfortable," or, "It makes me sad or, "It hurts my feelings", whatever it is.
Sometimes it's hard to even get to the boundary conversation to let the person know that you have a boundary in place. So there's two things, that I recommend doing. One is and this technique I think is really important because it allows you to get a clear understanding of what's going on internally for you. And sometimes you'll end up uncovering other things you are upset about or disappointed about or angry about or disenchanted about. And that is writing the person that you have to create boundaries with a letter. Are you giving this person the letter? Absolutely not. You can if you want to, but I don't recommend it. I think that when you write the first letter, you might write 20 or more. You write a letter and you let them know like, "Hey, this is how I feel."
You don't censor your thoughts. You don't censor what you're going to say. You just let it all out and you might have to write more than one letter. This is really helpful because it kind of helps just do an energetic dump where you are just unleashing all of the pent up thoughts, the frustrations, the sadness, the anger, the rage, anything that you have going on internally. You can let it all out so you can clean up some of the energy, so it's not taking up space anymore and you can start the healing process. And I've talked about this in the past, about writing people letters.
Now, this is the next step. And I think that this is a really important boundary technique that I have personally used in my life and I have seen effective results from it. And when I say effective, either the person that I chose to create this boundary with shows up to the opportunity to change or they don't and they no longer get to be in my life. And that is okay with me because at the end of the day, taking care of myself, taking care of my mental health, and taking care of my emotional well-being is a priority that is a non-negotiable. Now it can get super complicated, especially if it's family. But this technique is called the great pause. And this is where you put the person that you have to set boundaries with on pause.
Do you have to tell them you're putting them on pause? You could. Just up to you. It depends on the relationship. Sometimes the pause just happens very naturally. Sometimes you have to make the decision to start pulling back in the relationship where you're just not having as many conversations with them. And then over time, it just becomes a longer period where they're on pause. And what's happening during the pause is you get an opportunity to take a break from that person and that person has an opportunity to take a break from you. This is already going to set a boundary that it's time for us to shift the dynamic in our relationship.
The next thing in the pause is that you have an opportunity to clear some of the energy between you and that person. And I think that this is really important because it allows the other person to start thinking about how they've shown up in the relationship. Does it mean they're going to start thinking about it? No. They're human. They have free will. They can do whatever it is they want. And if they want to stay in their trauma response and in their trauma stories, they will. If they really want you in their life, they're going to start thinking about how they can communicate differently with you and also start thinking about how they can be in relationship with you differently.
And so for me, what I have done in the past and I've done this with family members, friends, coworkers, where I have taken a pause from them and either they have completely left my life and that's okay because the relationship served its purpose for that moment in time. We both got what we needed out of the relationship. We can choose to grow from that and then we can move forward and move on. Not every person you meet in your life is meant to be in your life forever and ever and ever. People get to be in your life and people get to leave your life at different stages because that's where the relationship is meant to dissolve.
Now there's people that I have let go of relationships and then there's people that have shown up and have realized that this one boundary technique is going to assist them in having a different relationship with me. And if they want to have a different relationship with me, we have to communicate differently and we have to have different boundaries set up. And so then when we rekindle our relationship, that's when I will have more of a boundary conversation around the things that were upsetting me, what I want to do differently, what boundaries I want to have with that person. And then I also give them the opportunity to share things with me on what I can do differently, and offer me different perspectives about the situation.
And I hold compassion and I hold the person in a vibration that I know things can change with opportunities. And what I mean by that is if I hold them in the past and only think that they're going to show up to our relationship like they did in the past, it's not fair to that person. That's where boundaries come in. And so I'm going to tell them what my boundaries are and then they have the opportunity to show up and I'm going to give them that opportunity. Is it so black and white, the conversation? Not necessarily because sometimes we have very complicated relationships with people and when they're complicated, we have to say things in a certain way. I have found practicing what I want to say out loud, how I want to say it, is really helpful in talking through it. I've also journaled what I want to say to these particular people that I'm wanting to create boundaries with so that I know that I am saying things from a place of compassion and also from a place of strength and love.
Not everyone's going to receive the pause in a good way. And when I do this pause, sometimes it's just like, "Hey, I think it's time for us to just take a break from communication for a little bit," or I might get into a disagreement with that person where it's just like energetically I don't even need to say that. We're both on the same page, or maybe we're not on the same page, but for my mental health, it is not good to communicate with that person. And it's not even good to even message that person or email that person. And it's not good mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. And so, however it is that you are guided to take the pause. Take the pause.
It is extremely, extremely effective. And when I say it's effective, you're going to get a clear understanding of that person is meant to be in your life anymore. And you'll also have an opportunity to do some of the work behind the scenes to being in relationship with that person if you want that person in your life. Now, if you have a family member that you're wanting to put on pause, but you see that person every day and you talk to that person every day, multiple times a day, maybe you just start cutting back your communication. So maybe you talk to that person three times a day. Maybe you start to talk to them only once, and then a week later you talk to them every other day and you just start cutting back your communication. And this gives you the opportunity to start getting more clear on what is working and what is not working in the relationship.
You can love someone, you can also have a lot of compassion for someone and you can still hold healthy boundaries to take care of yourself as well. I know for me, I have put people in pause and I understand why they're acting the way they're acting. I understand it's a trauma response. I have a lot of love and compassion for that person. But I also understand that it is not healthy for us to continue to be in the same relationship in the same way, behaving in the same behaviors without someone getting hurt. And most likely that person is going to be me. And also from a result of that, I'm only enabling that other person to continue the behavior that they're doing or demonstrating or playing in, and it's not healthy for them either. And so in order to shift, we have to make changes, and changes can come with that big pause.
So I hope you found this information helpful. If you like this episode, please share it with someone. I know that boundaries is a big topic. I also want to encourage you to like and subscribe. I would love for you to get our message out. We deserve to be in community. We all deserve to be connected and feel good. So make sure you like that button. All right, guys, have a wonderful day. Bye.
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